Italy in Small Bites
  • Alternative view 1 of Italy in Small Bites
  • Alternative view 2 of Italy in Small Bites

Italy in Small Bites

by Carol Field
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner may mark the beginning, middle, and end of the day, but for centuries Italians have eaten two small informal meals that come in between. Italy in Small Bites is the first-ever collection of recipes for these bite-size treats, known as spuntini and merende, the soul food of Italy.

Spuntini, the midmorning snack, can be as simple

Overview

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner may mark the beginning, middle, and end of the day, but for centuries Italians have eaten two small informal meals that come in between. Italy in Small Bites is the first-ever collection of recipes for these bite-size treats, known as spuntini and merende, the soul food of Italy.

Spuntini, the midmorning snack, can be as simple as a sublime walnut-and-raisin-studded coffee cake, while merende, which are enjoyed midafternoon, might be a wedge of onion frittata or artichoke tart, a crunchy pillow of fried dough served with figs or prosciutto, a purée of fava beans, or sweet peppers mounded on a slice of rustic country bread.

The best-known merende in America are pizza and focaccia, but there's an entire universe of appealing food revealed in this book. Though the recipes are tied to centuries of tradition that go back to a time when merende reinvigorated laborers in the fields, they're singularly perfect for contemporary eating in America and are as versatile as they are delicious.

Merende make perfect impromptu meals because they are stunningly simple foods meant to make life easy. Some — bruschetta with various toppings, frittate, vegetable tarts, polenta crostini — may be familiar, while others are welcome new discoveries. Served individually or in combination, they can become a meal — any meal — and they are healthy, inexpensive, and casual, perfect for the way we live.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Field is the well-known author of several books on Italy and its cuisine, including Celebrating Italy ( LJ 11/15/90) and the widely praised The Italian Baker ( LJ 11/15/85). Now she turns to merende , traditional Italian snack food, a category that includes both the American favorite, pizza, and a wide range of more unusual regional ``little dishes.'' Many merende are based on bread or bread dough, Field's own specialty, and she has collected lots of mouth-watering recipes for bruschetta, crostini, and focaccia in all its incarnations, as well as various sweet and savory breads. There are also salads, bocconcini (``little bites,'' or finger food), and more. Recipes are simple, rustic, and uncomplicated, although some do involve a certain amount of preparation. Considering our current obsession with Italian food and the popularity of snack food, this is sure to be in demand.
Barbara Jacobs
"Tapas" in Spanish and "mezes" in Greek. Now Field explores "merende", midmorning or afternoon snacks enjoyed in the boot-shaped country. There's a scholarly yet friendly tone; we learn about Virgil, Cato, and Cicero wolfing down appetizers while Field explains how she convinced a certain baker to part with the recipe for lemony sweet buns. Many of the more than 150 foodstuffs will have familiar names to those who frequent Italian restaurants in the U.S.: pesto and black olive paste, bruschetta, crostini, polenta, fava bean salad, and biscotti. Others might soon become kitchen favorites, including frico (crisp lacy cheese chips), leftover pasta and eggs, vegetable soup with pesto, sgabei (cheese-filled fried dough wands), and chocolate salame. Suggested variations and combinations are frequently offered; many of the snacks, however, do require some facility with the vagaries of bread dough.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060722791
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/01/2004
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,260,747
Product dimensions:
7.37(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.08(d)

Meet the Author

Carol Field is the author of four cookbooks, In Nonna's Kitchen, Focaccia, Celebrating Italy, and The Italian Baker, as well as The Hill Towns of Italy and Mangoes and Quince, a novel. She has won two IACP Cookook Book Awards, a James Beard Award, and the Gold Medal for Cookbooks at the World Media Awards in Australia. She lives in San Francisco with her architect husband and continues to travel back and forth to Italy.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >